Planning Your February Tower Garden

2 Steps to Planning Your February Tower Garden Like a Pro

Planning Your February Tower Garden

Spring is just around the corner for most of the US and that means it’s time to start planning your February Tower Garden. Whether you put your Tower Garden away for the Winter, or you’ve been growing year-round, now is a good time to empty it and start from scratch.

1. Clean Your Tower Garden

It may seem like a daunting task if you haven’t done it before, but it’s not that bad at all. We wrote an in-depth post here detailing the easiest way to clean your Tower Garden. It includes a video for visual learners or written instructions if you prefer those.

How to Clean Tower Garden

2. Plan Your Crops

Now it’s time to decide what crops you would like to grow. When planning what crops to grow it’s important to think of the following factors that will influence your decision.

  • Are you growing inside or outside?
  • What are the average low temperatures?
  • How many of each crop should you grow?

Are you growing inside or outside?

This is an important question to answer when planning your Tower Garden because it is important to consider whether the crops need to be pollinated and how large the crop will be.

How to hand pollinate plants like tomatoes, zuccihini and more
How to hand pollinate plants like tomatoes, zuccihini and more

Let’s talk pollination first. Pollination is the process by which pollen grains are transferred from the male reproductive organs (such as the anther) of a flower to the female reproductive organs (such as the stigma) of the same flower or another flower, leading to fertilization. This transfer of pollen can occur through various agents such as wind, water, animals (including insects like bees, butterflies, and birds), or even through self-pollination where the pollen is transferred within the same flower or between flowers of the same plant. In a nutshell, almost all fruiting crops (and fruiting crops are those that produce fruit like cucumbers, melons, beans, peas, squash, strawberries, eggplant, peppers etc) require pollination for the fruit to grow.

Parthenocarpic varieties are an exception to this as these varieties set fruit without pollination. Assume your variety is not parthenocarpic unless it explicitly states it on the seed package or the seedling provider’s website. The Katrina cucumber seedling we offer on our website is parthenocarpic.

If you are growing inside then I doubt you will have any bees, butterflies, birds, or wind whistling through your living room pollinating your squash, so you will need to do it yourself. If you are not sure how to pollinate, we wrote a detailed post How to hand pollinate tomatoes, zucchini and more that includes a video, so you can decide if you want to grow crops inside that need to be pollinated. Leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, cauliflower, and broccoli are examples of crops that do not need to be pollinated.

What are the average low temperatures?

The next important step in planning what crops to grow if you are growing outside is to check your weather for the last frost date for your zipcode. You can do that here on the Almanac website.

We have grouped all of our cold-tolerant seedlings together here. All of these seedlings can be planted if your overnight lows are 32 or higher. It is still important to protect these tender seedlings from a freeze and a frost bag and submersible heater are great additions to a garden this time of year.

For a thorough list of crops to grow now read Discover 10+ Awesome Crops to Grow in January in your Tower Garden

How many of each crop should you grow?

Not only is planning what crops to grow important, but figuring out how many of each of those crops you should grow is also important. Have you heard the phrase “How long is a piece of string?” The same applies when choosing the quantity of your crops. What works for one may be too little, or too much, for another. We’ve come up with a good guide as a starting point though, and you can start here and tweak it a little with each growing cycle.

Herbs

For most families, one of each herb you use is a good place to start. However, if you make a lot of pesto each week, or juice parsley every day, you may want to increase those herbs to 2. You get the idea!

Leafy Greens

Again, just one of each variety is a good place to start. You’ll be harvesting from most leafy greens once a week. If you like to enjoy them twice a week, grow two instead.

Fruiting Crops

You have to be patient with fruiting crops. Fruiting crops require a lot more light than non-fruiting crops. After all, it takes a lot more energy to produce flowers, fruit and then ripen the fruit. So while they will start slow and take 6-8 weeks to produce, depending on the crop, you will have an abundant supply once they get going.

We also recommend no more than 4 large crops (squash, melon and tomatoes) per Tower when growing outside. Personally, I wouldn’t grow squash, melons or indeterminate tomatoes inside. Think of the leaves like solar panels. They all need to be absorbing the light from the grow lights. The vine growing 8ft away from the Tower is not going to be absorbing much light from the lights at all! When growing tomatoes inside opt for a dwarf variety like Tiny Tim.

If you can grow an entire Tower of strawberries, DO IT!

Here’s a good guide that you can tweak on your next growing cycle.

  • Beans – 3+
  • Cucumbers – 1
  • Eggplant – 1
  • Melons – 1
  • Peas – 3+
  • Peppers – 1 of each variety
  • Squash – 1 of each variety
  • Strawberries – 4+
  • Tomatoes – 1 of each variety

Assemble your Tower Garden FLEX or HOME using the videos below.

Now you’re ready to grow! Get a jump start on your season by purchasing seedlings. We offer over 100 varieties and they can be shipped across the lower 48 States.

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